It’s a good thing the Braves are widely considered the favorite to win the Josh Donaldson sweepstakes because one of their potential backup plans doesn’t appear to be very realistic.
If Atlanta were to miss out on Donaldson, their two most viable options to replicate his production at third base would be to acquire Nolan Arenado or Kris Bryant via trade. However, the former appears to be nothing more than a pipe dream, according to Jeff Passan of ESPN.
In Passan’s most recent article, which answers 20 questions regarding the 2020 season, he opens it by addressing some superstar names that could be on the move – one of those players being Nolan Arenado. However, the Braves don’t look to be one of his most likely suitors. Here is what he had to say:
Arenado would work with Atlanta or Washington similarly well, although, according to sources, conversations with the Braves have gone nowhere, and the Nationals haven’t focused on acquiring him. As the Colorado Rockies search for potential trade partners, two teams in particular have intrigued them, according to sources: the Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals.
Arenado still has seven years and $235 million remaining on his contract, and the crazy part is, that’s not even the toughest part about completing this deal. After 2021, Arenado has a player option and can choose whether he would like to finish the remaining five years on his contract or opt-out and attempt to re-up for even more security. And on top of that, the Rockies are going to be looking for quite a prospect haul as well, especially if they agree to pay down some of Arenado’s contract.
Given all of the above, it is going to be difficult for any club to pull off a blockbuster move for the Rockies star third baseman, and it’s understandable why the Braves might be the most unwilling of all. They aren’t big on player options and no-trade clauses, never have been one to agree to a mega-deal, and also haven’t shown any urgency to flip their talented prospects to win now.
If I had to estimate, I’d say there is an 80% chance the Braves re-sign Josh Donaldson, but if he does not return, don’t expect Arenado to be a realistic option.